FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/5/13) – In conjunction with the start of Severe Storms Preparedness Month, the Kentucky Chemical Stockpile Preparedness Program (CSEPP) will begin a media campaign today encouraging Kentuckians to be prepared for the possibility of disasters and emergencies in their communities.
“Kentuckians are subject to all kinds and types of natural and man-made disasters,” said John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management. “This campaign - made possible through CSEPP - puts a spotlight on the need for emergency preparedness and how children count on adults to make sure everyone is prepared.”
The campaign is titled “Be Aware. Learn How to Prepare.” Television ads will begin airing today, and radio, magazine, billboard and other advertising will follow throughout the year. Advertising will concentrate on the 10 CSEPP counties in central Kentucky: Clark, Estill, Fayette, Garrard, Jackson, Jessamine, Laurel, Madison, Powell and Rockcastle.
Chemical weapons are housed at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County. The 10 central Kentucky counties receive federal dollars through CSEPP, which is administered through Kentucky Emergency Management.
Advertising directs citizens to visit a new website - PrepareKY.com - which directs them to a CSEPP county website for targeted preparedness information. The new website also will direct visitors to the Kentucky Emergency Management website for more general all-hazard preparedness information.
CSEPP was developed to bring together the many federal, state and local government agencies to ensure public safety and that local agencies are ready to handle any chemical emergency.
CSEPP is one part of the multi-hazard readiness program in eight U.S. communities to deal with natural and man-made emergencies of all kinds. Depending on the location of the community, such emergencies may include tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, hazardous materials spills or releases and transportation and industrial accidents.
CSEPP's goal is to improve preparedness to protect the people of these communities in the unlikely event of an accident involving this country's stockpiles of obsolete chemical munitions.
The U.S. Army has been directed by Congress to destroy certain kinds of chemical weapons stockpiled at eight U.S. Army installations in the United States. Over the past 20 years, the destruction has been completed at six of those eight locations. The last existing stockpiles are located at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond and the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado.
Officials believe the chance of an accident involving these obsolete chemical munitions is remote, based on studies of the materials and their current handling and storage. Local public safety officials and responders, however, have to be ready for such an emergency today and every day until the stockpile in their community no longer exists.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Army help these communities to meet the slight but real threat of an emergency involving chemical agent.
For additional information on CSEPP and its media campaign, please visit www.PrepareKY.com.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Steve Beshear
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
Copyright 2013 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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